Globally, almost half of consumers say they are turning to healthy and nutritious diets to boost wellness. Older generations afford greatest value to healthy eating for its contribution to overall wellbeing, while Generation X and Millennials score highly as the age groups paying greater attention to mental health. The latter, along with Gen Z, indicate they have engaged more in social or environmental activities, adding to a sense of spiritual wellbeing. This includes cutting down on waste and recycling more, both of which have heightened importance to the food and beverage industry.
Sharing the health
In 2022, Innova asked consumers what aspects they have engaged in most to live healthily over the previous 12 months. At 45%, the biggest response was eating a healthy, nutritious diet. That was ahead of taking part in regular physical activity. Consumers associate wellbeing with eating, and this extends to spiritual, mental and social wellness with more than one in four respondents valuing shared food experiences with family and friends. Interestingly, eating well is of importance to a greater number of consumers than eating in moderation is. In pursuit of a healthy diet, 36% of respondents choose fresh foods while 32% favor cooking from scratch. That compares with 27% exercising portion control. There are regional differences, however, with Asian populations aiming for fresh, quality ingredients, while those in western countries look to limit their snacking.
Specific physical benefits desired most by consumers are immunity support and gut health. In terms of mental wellbeing, food and beverages that improve sleep and mental focus are valued. Meanwhile, younger generations are boosting the market for products that help with esthetic qualities such as muscle tone and physical appearance. Additionally, new beverage products catering to a demand for functionality include vitamin-rich drinks to improve immunity and reduce fatigue. Probiotics feature in drink launches claiming gut health benefits, and chamomile continues to be a star ingredient for those looking to de-stress.
Having it all
Innovative brands are aiming for the best of both worlds in some of their launches. Innova has tracked new products which offer additional nutritional benefits and reductions in perceived harmful ingredients. Low fat, no added sugar and high protein appears a winning combination. Consumers also associate freshness (37% of respondents) and naturalness (32%) with health. This is especially true with Boomers, but we see with Generation Z more of an eye on balanced nutrients and food groups. This sophisticated view from younger consumers fits with their interest in greater personalization of food and beverage choices based on functional and nutritional needs.
While two in five respondents to our 2023 Trends Survey are looking to reduce their food and beverage spending, we also see socially responsible choices helping to achieve personal economic goals. Almost 70% of consumers are trying to minimize food waste, 68% are recycling or upcycling more, and a similarly high number are seeking out local products and services. This all plays into a sense of spiritual wellness which contributes to better holistic health. Brands are increasingly stating – clearly and with evidence – the ways in which their processes, actions and products have societal or ethical value, as well as their nutritional benefits. In this way, they seek to provide a holistic product story and all-round healthy outcomes.
To learn more about Innova’s year-round, comprehensive global surveys, visit our Consumer Insights page. In addition, we provide exclusive, tailored surveys geared to specific business needs. To discover the breadth, depth and detail of Innova’s consumer data, contact us now.